Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Standing for Something

By now, you all know that I'm a fair-weather blogger. My posts have become few and far between, and my blog-reading as well. That's in part because I'm actually trying to get some decluttering done, I'm stupidly trying to write two books at once, and we got a Wii. We're playing Dance Dance Revolution to get fit, and my husband is already losing weight. What do I have to say about this? Phffffbbbbbt. I'm happy for him. No, really I am.

Anyway, I'm sharing something that burns my buttons. It stemmed from a culmination of experiences over the last year. I decided to take a stand for decency. Instead of explaining, I'll post the email I wrote on Saturday to Sam's Club. It's edited for privacy.

"Last year my three young children and I were in our local Sam's Club in xxxx Missouri. As we walked in, we passed a big-screen tv. There was a movie that I had not seen before, but an intense/scary scene popped up just as we walked past. My then five-year old son saw and was instantly upset by it. I walked directly over to Customer Service across from the tv and told them what happened. I was very pleased as we left from shopping that the movie playing had been changed, and hoped Sam's Club would be more careful.

We walked in a few months ago, I don't remember when but it was in the spring. There was another movie playing that had an intense or scary scene, but I was able to tell before we got up to it so I told my children to look the other way.

Last month we were in the video game section, and as we walked up to a main aisle "I Am Legend" was playing. I had seen this movie so I was able to tell my children that a scary part was coming, so I was able to avoid them seeing it. If we had walked up a minute or two later, I wouldn't have been able to prevent them from seeing one of the scariest parts of the film, which includes a dog being badly injured.

The final incident was today. This time I had my now six-year-old son with me, the same one who had been upset last year. As we were walking up an aisle, in the main aisle, I saw a scene from "Batman Begins" playing. The scene had a man pointing a gun. I immediately told my son not to look, and he obeyed. Again, if we had been not even one minute later, he would have seen a man get shot in the chest.

I always thought Sam's Club was a family friendly store. Two of the four movies that were played had a PG-13 rating. I do not know what the rating of the others were, but the content was inappropriate for young children. PG-13 means "parental guidence for children under 13". We have chosen not to show movies of this rating to our children, and frequently edit movies that we're watching as a family that have a PG rating. I expect when I enter a warehouse club or grocery store that I should be able to bring my children. I have six and seven year old boys, and a two year old daughter. It is morally reprehensible that Sam's Club is actively contributing to the loss of children's innocence.

I shop at Sam's Club often, several times per month for food, dog food, etc. My husband James and I both use Sam's Club Optical for our eyeglasses and contact lenses. We purchased tires for our van there. I enjoy the quality of the produce, the grapes I purchased today are fantastic.

I really have no desire to discontinue my membership. However, I would rather discontinue my membership than risk my children being traumatized by seeing scenes that no responsible parent would let their children view.

I am sorely disappointed in Sam's Club.


Rebecca xxxx"

They asked for my membership number and where the club is located. Apparently they didn't read the email first as the club location was named, but I hope someone reads it. I hope Sam's Club rethinks their television viewing displays, or they'll be rather disappointed in the outcome. I don't usually make a big fuss about things, but this involves my children. Care to know my philosophy? I am the proverbial 'mother bear' about my kids. Mess with me, fine. Don't you dare mess with my kids.

I have hope that Sam's Club will fix the problem. If they do not, I will go to my local newspaper, television station, and start a "Boycott Sam's Club" forward to pass around the internet forever. (Want immortality? Start a forward.)

Hopefully these measures will not be necessary. I like to think that Sam's Club will do the right thing. I will keep you posted on what happens next.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hair Clips, Birth Control, and Cleanliness

I'll bet you've never seen a post title like that before. I'm also putting in a warning that part of this post should be for the "age 13 and over" crowd. That's so I don't have to take responsibility for you having to explain certain "stuff" to the kid who may be reading over your shoulder. (Hint hint, Professor!)

I'm up at 1:27 am, waiting for the two generic Benadryl I took to kick in. It usually knocks me out cold. I can't sleep, so I've been eating ice cream while reading some of my favorite blogs. I'm never, ever, going to catch up. If I haven't been by, I will be soon. I may stumble in looking for a pillow, but just smile gently and ignore me as I lay my head down on my computer keyboard.

Anyway, you know how they say that you learn something new every day? I don't. I've always thought that was baloney. There are days that go by that I feel my mushy brain stagnating. There are definitely a lot more days that I learn nothing. However, last week I learned three lessons:

The first lesson: Kids grow up fast. Seems like I learn this lesson more and more, lately.

Princess was in the bathroom while I was cleaning the counter. She hates having anything like barrettes or ponytails in her hair. FINALLY she decided she likes those little mini clips that never stay in your hair, the ones with teeth. She was fiddling with some in the hair container thingy, and I took out a shiny brown one and put it in her hair. She reached up to take it out while declaring, "No! It's not cool enough." Pause. "It's not cool enough?" I said, wondering if I heard what I did. "It's not cool enough. " Pause. "Where's my pink one?" She won't even be three until next month. What am I in for when she turns 13? Wait-- don't answer that.

The second lesson: water+exhaustion=disaster.

I learned not to do the dishes when tired, especially when it involves a moveable dishwasher that hooks up to the sink faucet. Since it doesn't seal off completely, I take it off when it's on the drying cycle so that we don't waste water. It's a cool thing that has one hose attached to take in water, and an outgoing one to put it back into the sink, all connected in one.

Well, I heard the machine empty for the last time, and disconnected it. I didn't hear any water running into it, I automatically wait for that before I disconnect the hose. Minutes passed, and I didn't think anything of it until Princess walked by it and yelled, "There's water on the floor!" My first thought was that it had leaked. Then I saw the water gushing out of it. That's when I also realized that I should have shut the towel/dishcloth/tablecloth drawer behind it.

The water was pouring into the drawer, and out of it. I grabbed the hose, and yelled for dirty towels to catch the water as it was heading for my free-standing pantry cabinet. I then realized that I had taken all the dirty towels downstairs to wash. Luckily, standing right next to me was a basket of dirty clothes I was going to take downstairs to wash several hours earlier. I dumped the entire basket onto the swelling flood, and saved my cabinet from swelling irreversably. I'm sure it will make you feel better to find that I saved the plastic wrap AND the baggies.

I never fail to listen for the sound of swishing water now after I disconnect the hoses.

The third lesson: Always laugh at someone else's misfortune if it truly is funny.

The last thing occurred last Friday. I was in the shower, and James was in the bathroom talking to me. The phone rang. He got it, (it was left in the bathroom) and let me know it was my sister. Next thing I knew he was laughing so hard he could hardly stand up.

Karen had a baby almost three months ago. She also has a small husky-terrier mix named Nova, who's about 2 years old. Nova has been pretty good since the baby was born. She has mostly gotten into things before the baby was born, swiped stuff off tables, ripped things up, things like that. Karen has trained her incredibly well, so all that was kept to a minimum.

Karen was happy with how well Nova adjusted to the baby. What Karen didn't know was that her adorable little doggie was biding her time, plotting and scheming all the while. She figured out the best way to get back at her 'parents' once and for all. She waited until she was alone in the bedroom, and got to work.

When Karen came in the room later, she found 40 condom wrappers. You're probably thinking that Nova got them out of the trash, since they were all empty. Nope. That dog helped herself to 40 brand-spankin'-new condoms by taking each one out of the wrapper, and swallowing them. "See," I bet she was thinking, "I showed them!" That was, until she threw the first one up on the carpet. Karen ran to get her outside, where she proceeded to upchuck their entire stash of birth control.

As disgusting as that is, she's one lucky dog. If she didn't throw up, she would have had to go to the vet to prevent a blockage. She also proved she's smart beyond belief. I think she was trying to prevent another wailing baby arriving to take more attention.

And that, gentle (and over 13) reader, about sums up last week.